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  • Todos? Nah!
  • Priority lists? Naaah!
  • Special tools? Naaaaaaah!

One super simple question drove Sam Walton's daily work:

  • 'What can I do today to improve the business?'

BAM.

He measured how much his business improved by how much earnings it increased each quarter.

More net profits indicated his business provided more value to customers.

Improvement drove him to focus on serving customers better, fuller, and in larger quantities.

What can I do today to make customers:

  • Like us more
  • Come in more
  • Buy more things
  • Save more
  • Etc., etc.

How can I make the company:

  • More agile
  • More responsive to customer feedback
  • More efficient
  • More productive
  • Etc., etc.

Daily improvement, aggregated over four decades, made Walmart a Fortune 1 company toward the end of Sam Walton's life.

Improvement. Simple. Easy.

FREAKishly effective.

Improve daily.

Posted on December 02

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The typical SUCK vendor approach:

  • Hi. I supply you.
  • You happy?
  • Yay!

A supplier serves the vendor, and doesn't take a partnership approach to trying to help that vendor grow/get-more-customers/sales/profits/etc.

The supplier therefore sees a SUCK return from that vendor.

If you're looking for more work from your customers, and grow your sales/profits/customers, help them GROW/THRIVE.

Help them grow.

The more Bobby Bob's Widgets grows, the more business you get to do with Bobby Bob.

Say you sell printing to Bobby Bob.

If you help Bobby Bob attract more customers, BAM: Bobby Bob needs more printing for more customers, so you see an increase in your printing sales to Bobby Bob.

BUT HOW? 

Microsoft helps its customers grow with free/low-cost training, articles and tips, consulting, books, etc. -- whatever that helps its partners thrive.

  • Google offers free tips to its AdWords customers, as well as free A/B testing tools, an Analytics application, recommended partners who can help its customers further, as well as many other tools to help its customers soooaaaarrr.
You might have a key insight about automating X that would help your customer work faster, be more efficient, and help them serve more customers; show them your approach, and your many other insights that can help their businesses succeed.

The more you help your customers thrive, the more you'll business success you'll see.

WINNNNN

Help them grow/thrive.

Posted on December 01

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You've talked to a prospect.

"I might buy!", she tells you.

  • So, you wait a day. No reply.
  • Five days. No reply.
  • 30 days. No reply.
  • 100 days. No reply.

You start thinking: Hey, that person isn't interested in my services! You don't follow-up. You don't get any sale or any referral from that prospect. You cry.

Meanwhile, Competitor Charlie takes the more active approach by pitching his services periodically.

"I'll check-up with the prospect every 30 days to see if I can help her in any way," he thinks. "That way, I won't be too annoying and keep her thinking about ME when she needs to do X, Y, Z."

  • First 30 days: No help needed.
  • 2nd 30 days: No help needed.
  • 3rd 30 days: HELP NEEDED!

BAM!!!!

By periodically keeping in touch with the prospect, and pitching your offer to help, you increase your chances of converting the prospect into becoming your customer.

"But, I'll just annoy them!!!111," you scream

Get this: Every contact poiint leads to more familiarity (i.e., why we'd drive far to see our regular barbers and doctors), which leads to the person liking you more, which increases your chances of doing business with them.

Expecting prospects to come to you nets you SUCK sales. Eliminating as many barriers for your customers to do business with you: YAY.

Win.

Keep in touch.

Posted on November 30

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Here's one way.

Say you're working as a personal assistant for ABC Company. You like your job; it's oh-so-fun, but you wish you could start your own business some day.

  • So, you're sitting there, thinking: "Hmmmm, what in the whole wide world should I do?"
  • And then you go, "Maybe one day when I find a great idea, I too can be in business for myself."

So as the years go by, and you still haven't started your business, you start crying like a chumP.

Don't cry like a chumP! Here's some fresh dose of HOPE coming your way.

What business could you start right at this moment?

Try this:

  1. Take your job.
  2. Business-fy it.

Done.

Personal assistant? Start a personal assistant company, provide services to your current employer (and save them freakish costs associated with you being an employee), all the while looking for additional clients to service (adding new revenue opportunities for your new business).

(Quick sales tip: Finding additional clients? Easy! It's akin to seeking the same job at different companies that need your services.)

Software developer? Start a software development company, provide services to your current employer, seek additional clients, etc., etc., etc.

Work in sales? Start a sales company. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.

As the demand for your services begins to exhaust the mother FREAK out of you (i.e., you can't handle the volume of work), you start hiring, and hiring, and hiring.

Your business starts to grow, and grow, and grow.

Yay!

Sure, employers might not be too receptive of you starting your own business (some organizations might be too large to even consider it), but if you can prove to them that they'll get more bang for their buck (i.e., you provide them everything they need at cheaper prices while protecting all company trade secrets, not working with competitors, etc.), you'll likely open them up to doing business with you.

WIN. Yayayayay!

Your business idea is right on front of you.

Start with yo job.

Posted on June 23

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Say

  1. You market to a customer.
  2. You sell to the customer.
  3. The customer departs forever.

Bam. End of transaction. 1 sale. Suk.

What happened if you sell to the customer, and the customer returns and:

  1. Buys more
  2. And more
  3. And more
  4. And more
  5. And more

Your business starts to become sustainably strong with every customer you attract.

Instead of restarting the sales cycle after every @$@$&@ transaction, your customer transactions grows-and-grows-and-grows.

Likewise, your revenue and profits climb-and-climb-and-climb.

Fortune 500 companies live on recurring revenue; without recurring revs, their businesses becomes unpredictable -- bleeding marketing resources (making efficiency SUCK), and jeopardizing their futures.

What the EFFFFF?

Take a web design firm.

Now, that web design firm could try targeting a bunch of small businesses in its local area; but, what the suck happens?

That web design firm will have to restart its marketing after every customer win (i.e., Bob's Deli likely just needs to design its website once).

If, for example, that web design firm can't attract another customer next month, mother effin layoffs start to mother effin happen. Eff.

Who would be the more efficient target customers?

 

  • Larger web design firms with clients up the heeeeeezy.
  • PR firms.
  • IT headquarters at large companies.
  • Brand consultants.
  • Event planners.
  • SEO consultants.
  • Etc.

For instance, a PR firm would be like...hey, we need you to work on this client project; hey, we have another client that needs this; hey, we could use your expertise on this customer, etc, etc, etc.

That is, target those who will buy from your company over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

You'll start to build a sustainably strong business that will last for YEARS/DECADES/ETERNITIES.

Wooooohooooo 4 U. Woooooohooooo

Seek the recurring.

Posted on June 20

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  1. Say you roll out a marketing plan.
  2. It costs you $1000.
  3. You make $800.

You lose $200.

You tell yourself:

  • "Hey, I suck! I quit!"

Unbeknown to you, someone else decides to start the same business:

  1. Ali rolls out the same marketing plan as you.
  2. She offers the same items at the same prices.
  3. Ali too loses $200 on a $1000 investment.

But unlike you and 98534985934859038539 others who quit too early, she keeps going.

  1. "I'll negotiate with my suppliers to lower the costs by agreeing to buy in bulk."
  2. "I'll also pitch more add-on services to the customers."
  3. "In addition to my basic offering, I'll offer more premium choices to increase margins."

"Every tiny thing improve the chances that my business will succeed," she tells herself.

BAM!

In the next campaign, things start to get better:

  • "I made $100 on a $1000K investment!"
  • "Not bad!"
  • "I can do even better!"

With the constant mindset to improve, she starts:

  • renegotiating with her suppliers even more
  • purchasing even more items in bulk
  • doing X, Y, and Z more efficiently now that she's smarter about them
  • targeting certain demographics more
  • starting a customer newsletter to keep her customers in touch of her deals

BAM!

  • "$400 on a $2000K investment."

"BUT WAIT! I can do even better!" she screams.

She continues improving/improving/improving/improving, skyrocketing her business to freeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaakish success.

Leading Fortune 500 companies (e.g. P&G, McDonald's, Google, etc.) don't measure their successes on revolutionary ideas/products/inventions; instead, earnings improvement over previous quarters = WIN.

Keep improving.

Posted on May 25

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A good lawyer:

  • someone who's passionate about the law
  • reads cases in his/her free time
  • can rattle off a bunch of cases in front of you subconsciously

(cases: court summaries; "BobIWantToSue vs. ChipDontSueMe")

While the competing lawyer sips his Margaritas in some Caribbean Tropical because s/he can't stand law and haven't cared for cases since Law School, your lawyer is reading a freakish number of cases because s/he finds joy in law and fighting for clients -- and possibly, striving to be the most knowledgeable lawyer in your industry/city/state/etc.

Basic rule:

  • The more case knowledge, the better your lawyer.

Someone (or firm) who can, for instance, cite a string of cases will likelier find more holes in the plaintiff/defendant's arguments, paving the way for you to achieve/keep what's legally yours/your-company's.

Common law WIN.

Cases. Passion.

Posted on May 21

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You're selling to Bob.

But, Bob's like:

  • OH NO I DON'T NEED YOUR SERVICES OH NO

So then, you cry and go home, without closing any business -- and losing any future with Bob as your customer.

How do you win customers?

If you can't sell to a customer, try this:

  • a) Offer more services/goodies/etc.
  • b) Lower your prices.

Repeat (a) and/or (b) until you win over the customer.

(And, the lifetime value of that customer still makes the deal profitable).

WIN4EVA

The Example

You return to Bob:

  • You: I'll add X and Y to the deal.
  • Bob: Sorry.
  • You: I'll lower the prices to 20%.
  • Bob: Sorry, I can't do it.
  • You: In addition to X and Y, and lowering your price to 20%, I'll also add A, B, C, D, E to the deal.
  • Bob: O RLY? OMG OMG OMG LETS DO IT OMG OMG OMG

Win.

What if you can't make a profitable deal?

Try the relatively inexpensive ways to add more value to your customer's life:

  • Send weekly tips/articles/etc.
  • Provide a bunch of free consultations.
  • Send referrals to their business.
  • Free trainings like a freak.
  • Newsletters filled with best practices.
  • etc., etc., etc.

Keep adding more value to the customer's deal you achieve a profitable win.

Your goal is to find the right price for your goods/services, making the customer's deal a WIN/WIN for the both of you.

You'll open more doors. You'll sell more stuff. You'll increase bottom line. You'll provide more value to your customers life/business/world.

WIN/WIN/WIN

HI FIVE

More value.

Posted on May 20

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  • You have 949748373848 tasks.
  • "I can't delegate!" you tell your bad self.

You reason:

  • I can do this much cheaper!
  • I can do this much better!

So, you take forever-and-forever-and-forever-and-forever to  work through your tasks; before you know it, you get too old and die.

BOO.

What to Delegate?

Newton's Law of Motion. The toughest part in completing tasks is starting on those tasks.

Once you have Version 0.1, Version 0.2 gets easier to complete; Version 0.3 gets even easier; etc.

The method:

  1. List your tasks.
  2. Delegate the list.
  3. Get Version 0.1 of every task on the list DONE.

Sure, the Version 0.1s might suck if you don't have the $ to hire rock stars, but you'll have a string of Version 0.1s done, which you can then improve/improve/improve/improve, and over time, make them less-suck-less-suck-less-suck.

Delegating the completion of Version 0.1s helps you remove the psychological barriers that prevent you from starting on your long list of tasks.

Before you know it, BAM: SO MANY THINGS DONE HI FIVE.

WIN

Version 0.1s.

Posted on April 19

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  1. See a bear attack on TV.
  2. Go camping.
  3. You instantly fear a bear attack.

When you're reminded of X, you focus on X -- despite the probabilities of X actually happening.

So, instead of focusing on what could likelier kill you (e.g., hypothermia), you start focusing on what probably won't kill you (i.e., a bear attack); so, you bring a bear trapper net to fend off bears instead of warm gear to prevent hypothermia -- SO YOU DIE OH NOES.

Behavioral economists call it the availability-heuristic

The more you see X, the more X becomes important -- even if Y or Z is really more important.

If your team's leaders talk about models and bottles daily instead of servicing customer customers TO THE MAX, the team subconciously starts believing models and bottles are more important than serving customers.

  • BAM! Customer service then starts sucking.
  • Your company tumbles.
  • Suck.

Get focus by emphasizing the right things each-and-every-day. WIN.

Emphasize.

Posted on April 12

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